The Spirit is Willing But The Flesh is Stronger

Re blogged from Inspire Me’s blog.

Inspire Me!

What if the ‘trial’ is a sweet one?

I recently got delivered from a situation that I can only describe as a reverse-trial. And by that I don’t mean the opposite of a trial, or a blessing.. This was a reverse trial because it was not good for me, it was potentially destructive yet I wasn’t exactly fighting to get out of it. It wasn’t the usual fear, discouragement, sickness or lack, still it was a battle that I needed to win without a desire to fight it. I have always read scriptures like, you delivered me from evil, or you set my feet on solid ground as pertaining to deliverance from painful, unpleasant situations. What do you do if the situation is not unpleasant but it can lead to destruction? What if the scripture the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak feels more like the reverse- the spirit…

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be sure to taste your words, before you spit them out.

Re Blogged from Hearts on sleeves club..

A wonderful reminder of the power of the tongue and of the written word… Sometimes we are keen on the immediate damage that our hurtful words can cause ( or the immediate good we hope it will achieve) that we forget to ‘taste’ what those words sound like before we ‘spew’ them out. I hope you are as challenged by this as I was. God bless,
Funmi

hearts on sleeves club

In moments of anger and happiness, we sometimes say things we don’t mean. We say the first thing that comes to our mind , and we’re satisfied in that moment. Later on, you have time to think about what you said, you begin to feel remorse because you now understand how that comment might have made that person feel. You feel stupid and you wish you could take it all back right away, so you try and do just that. You call the person and you tell them how sorry you are. You explain to them how you were feeling in that moment and although thats no excuse it will never happen again. It takes some convincing but soon enough the person you hurt forgives you and all is well and you feel some relief. Forgiveness is great don’t get me wrong, second chances are sometimes deserved but what about…

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A thousand Words…

Two weeks ago I had a bit of ‘me’ time and I had to choose between reading a book or watching a movie. I looked at the books I had to catch up on and the movie seemed the least engaging option. This was some free time I didn’t want to spend on anything that involved ‘brain juice’… I hope there is someone out there who feels like that sometimes?… please say yes!

I am usually a crime/detective/legal genre fan, but on that day I made a beeline for the ‘comedy’ section of my Netflix account.  I only had two hours to spare so when I stumbled on Eddie Murphy’s ‘ ‘A thousand Words’, I ignored the really low movie ratings and clicked to watch… I figured if it was that horrible then maybe I could catch a quick snooze…

I didn’t fall asleep. This is not a movie review so I will spare you the details. It is about a small lesson I learnt from the film storyline. I am not great at giving film synopsis’ so here goes…

The film is centred around a successful book agent  (Eddie Murphy) who says whatever it takes to close a deal…and Boy! does he talk… (he had a bit of a natter stored in him). But after stretching the truth with a ‘spiritual guru’ of the Buddhist genre in a bid to sign the man to a book deal, he suddenly found his life was dependent on a magical tree with 1,000 leaves…one for every word he has left. Once the tree is without leaves, the character dies. The rest of the film is about how he tries to  stop talking and conjure up some outrageous ways to communicate or he is a dead man.  As he approaches the end of His life with only some twenty or so words left, he figures out the most important people in his life and makes his words to them count…
As I watched the film I wondered what I would do differently in my life if I found I only had a thousand words left. My first thought was ‘I have a lot of people who I know who genuinely love and care about me – there isn’t enough words to go round’:-)
Did I mention that written words count as well?
Yes, when the character tried to leave a note, the leaves fell off with each word he wrote. And you know how we just taaaalk so fast without thinking when we are angry? well imagine how fast the leaves were falling with every ‘hmm’, ‘err’ , ‘oh’ and so on.  I quickly concluded I simply wouldn’t be able to connect with all the people in my life.
Who would make it on that shortlist? What would I say to them? If someone offended me, would it be worth spending out of my words to get angry, rant or give them some ‘feedback’?  
How many days could I drag out of a thousand words? My sons are still very young – what words would I say to them that would stay with them long after I have gone?
What would I say to my dear husband? I am a bit of a worrier/perfectionist and when our son was younger and he took two weeks off so I could go back to work earlier, I left him an instruction list was ran into pages:-)what would I say to encourage, instruct if I was going away forever?
Or would I just shut up forever and never say a word just so I could be alive with all those people ?
Will I practise denial and hope to wait for the last few words left before saying what I really mean or want to? – I can tell you right away, that never works. The last time I was with my dad, he was in the hospice and I felt a strong urge to sing him one of his favourite hymns and say ‘I love you’ to him before we left, but my husband and my mum were standing close by and he was asleep so I wussed out and told myself I would do it when I visited the next day…my dad passed away that night without any of us by his bedside. I was told he passed peacefully. The pain and sorrow of not saying those words when I had a chance leaves me with a deep regret and guilt that only someone who has experienced it can fathom.
As you can imagine from all my questions, it made me a take a long hard look at myself, my life and my priorities. When the rubber hits the road… what would I choose to do?

thousand words

What would you choose to do? 
I was still in my ‘thousand words moment’ when I started thinking about Lent. Instead of the traditional practice of giving up something for the 40 days leading up to Easter, I decided to ‘take on’ something instead.

If you are wondering exactly how long/much 1000 words is, It takes a slow reader about 5 minutes to read a thousand words and for me about 2min 40secs:-) . My plan/challenge is : every day I will set aside just five minutes to write a note/email to someone in my life. It might be an email telling them something I appreciate about them. Or maybe a note sharing a funny or treasured memory I had with them. It might be a message to someone offering to be a listening ear if they need someone to talk to. On another day it could be a text message letting them know how much I love them but how seldom I tell them so. 

This scripture will be my ‘guide’ through this season…

Phil2:3-5 “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, do not merely look our for your own interests, but also for the interests of others, have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

You are probably already doing something for Lent but you are welcome to join me on the thousand words challenge or pop me an email at thousandwordchallenge@groups.facebook.com and I will add you to the group. It would be nice if we could be accountable together and encourage one another to take one day, one note, one five-minute at a time to make our lives ( and that of others) a love-filled one.

Rest! In His Provisionrest

Funmi

‘D’ is for Died…

New post over at my Help I am a mum blog page…

Help! …I am a mum

It was one of those mornings that hadn’t started off on quite right; slept badly ( because my 22 month old kept waking up and crying in the other room); woke up late and worse for wear and now already late for school drop off as I made my already bad driving worse, navigating too quickly between annoyingly tight rows of double parked cars ( that is a topic for another day)…

Where was I? Yes, so its one of those days, I am late for school drop off which means I get one of those ‘naughty mummy’ looks from his very proper teacher and I am not happy because it means I will be latestay-at-home-mom-200x200 for work as well. I am thinking about how to get a head start on my already busy work day by mentally creating to do lists and considering making a quick ‘handsfree’

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Busy-Mum

Help!!! I am a mum…

Help! …I am a mum

Help!!! I am a mum…

Sounds like a battle cry for help. For some people you see that phrase and probably think,

“that’s exactly how I feel sometimes‘ all the time’

Someone else reading this is probably a perfect tiger mum with perfect little children and you are thinking,

‘Nah, for me the caption should read ‘Great!!! I am a mum’… Always:-)

Or maybe you are in a third foggier category and you are thinking

‘… err whatever..’

We can probably relate to being in one of those categories at some point or the other. The challenge is when we then get stuck in one category for too long or forever. It then becomes a Condition… I have labelled them:

Option 1 – Addiction to Helplessnes
Option 2  – Addiction to Self confidence
Option 3 – Addiction to Complacence
I have chosen to add Addiction to describe…

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Two Women, A Thunderstorm and A Tent Peg

Many times we face all sorts of challenges and problems and the way our families, culture and environment has nurtured us is to think that the only way out of trying situations is to fight OUR way out… make it happen. If all we ‘know’ fails, we try what other people ‘know’…and then our life is this thick maze of ‘trying’ all sorts to resolve the ‘challenge’ that sometimes later has no resemblance to the original challenge we started out with.

At this point, you are probably thinking…

    ‘thats not me’ I am a Christian and I commit all my challenges to God and let Him take control!’

Okay if you say so… but if you are like me who typically follows this process to problem solving:

  1. Identifying a problem/challenge/ disaster
  2. Praying about it
  3. Rapidly put on my problem solving hat and map out the different ways to resolve the issue identified in 1. Decide on the most sensible/reasonable solution
  4. Pray to God and hastily inform Him of my ‘chosen’ solution 
  5. Embark on Solution….

Sound familiar…? Yeah I thought so:-)

That always works for many of us until you have to face a situation where you are completely and horribly helpless. Nothing you can do to fix it. I experienced this recently with the very painful loss of my dad… So more than ever before I know what that feeling of helplessness is like and if not careful how difficult it can be to be ‘wholly trusting’ on God to ‘fix things’.

For some people they remain in desperation and denial while some quickly realise that trusting in God is nothing like steps 1-5 described above. Its more like getting to step 2 and then trusting God to show you what step three is.

So what has all that got to do with two women, a thunderstorm and a tent peg?

ImageThe people of Israel had been under oppression for twenty years. Serious hard core suffering in the hands of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor. The natural solution would be to fight back right? But the people of Israel couldn’t because they did not have the tools or manpower to defeat Sisera and His army. That is a pretty clear interpretation of a hopeless case by any human standard. Yet Deborah (Woman 1) trusted in the Lord and in His promise to deliver them when she asked Barak to gather men to be ready to fight Sisera and win the battle. The main advantage of Sisera’s army was they had this powerful 900 chariots – men on foot could not come up against it. They would be completely trampled.

Image

The night before the battle, there was a great thunderstorm and all the enemy chariots got stuck in mud. So they fled before the people of Israel who chased them ( because now the leverage was gone) and killed them. Sisera the commander fled and found a harmless woman by a tent by the name Jael.

Jael ( Woman 2) invited this previously great and scary man (who is now scared because he is running for his life)  to her tent. He is escaping a battlefield, so a woman alone in her tent is not a threat at all. She gave him something to drink and showed him where he could hide out and rest… she was so harmless that he relaxed well enough to fall asleep!

Dear Jael then picked up a tent peg

Image

and hammered it through his head right into the ground!!!

The great Sisera was dead – death by a tent peg.

So after twenty years of suffering and helplessness, it finally occurred to the people of Israel to call out to God to rescue them. Rescue was so far fetched that it had to come from God… and when it did come, it came in the form of…

Two women, A thunderstorm and A tent peg… (I call it TWATAT) 

Are you in a place where all the odds seem overwhelmingingly stacked against you? Then maybe its time to pause for a moment, take a breath and call out to God for help…

Your own form of a TWATAT might just be waiting to deliver you and bring you respite.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight…”

– Funmi

– PS – Thanks to my Vicar (Mick Hough) for kindly allowing me borrow the subject title.

He was Remembered for…

I was at a funeral a few weeks ago. We attended the same church but I had never interacted directly with him.

He had been diagnosed with a muscle degenerating disease and I only met him properly shortly after. In the months leading up to when he lost all motor control, speech and any ability to communicate, I marvelled at his stoic consistency & dedication.

I always watched him get wheeled in every sunday for the 9.15 service and on time too. After church he would nod and smile as people came over to say hi. In the last few weeks when he couldn’t smile or nod, his eyes glistened with all the hope and love you could imagine. My emotions gradually changed from that of great joy at seeing him stay consistent and faithful in his worship and determination to be with his fellow brethren in Christ to one of great pain in the last few weeks when I realised how much pain he must have been in – to be in a world with so much noise and activity around you and yet be unable to make use of any available means to communicate. I kept trying to imagine being completely unable to let others know how you feel – unable to point, nod, write, speak …. Yet he was in Church every single Sunday, right to the last one before he passed away. His faithfulness touched my heart and life in more ways than one.

At his Funeral, the Vicar in charge talked about how he went to read the bible to him in Hospice in the last few days and how after each passage, he eyes would beg for more. He kept asking for more! more of the scripture … it was obvious he took great delight in having the words read to him.  Other loved ones spoke about his life and it occurred to me how there was so much good he was known for and would now be remembered for.  I realised we could only genuinely remember him for those things because that was what his day-to-day life was made up of anyway. His dedication, commitment and love for God weren’t habits he picked up when he was diagnosed with a deadly disease or when it was convenient.

It was his WAY of life.

As I drove back home that day I pondered over what I wanted to be remembered for and wondered if any of those things  were habits or characteristics I was displaying now…. i bet you know the answer to that!

We all do that don’t we? We have a nice list of things we want to be remembered for but our lives do not mirror those things. This could be for a number of reasons;

  • we are too busy,
  • we are waiting to have children,Busy-300x190
  • waiting for them to grow older,
  • waiting to have more money,
  • better job,
  • waiting for the right timing get more committed in God’s house
  • or to giving back…. the list is endless!

Until that funeral service, most of those excuses reasons up there were legitimate and real  excuses (oops, again!), for why we do not ‘do‘ or ‘start’ the things we really want to be remembered for.  But I learnt something new, what you want to be remembered for is not only about how you ‘end’ your life but how you ‘live’ your life.

So do a self test today…If you had no chance to change anything about your life;

would you there be anything memorable that you would be remembered for ( by your family, children, colleagues)?

Would the things you would remembered for ( if any) be the things you want to be remembered for?

think

 

If not, then that is really something to think about isn’t it?

Think about it, how many of us wake up in the morning with a plan to go to work but get to the bus stop and hop on a bus going in the opposite direction?

eh? Nah, didn’t think so…

No one!

It’s perfectly understandable if you got delayed because there was traffic or the bus broke down or there was an accident and the driver had to take a different route….

whatever the case, you would still BE ON YOUR WAY TO WORK!

Something that would never happen if you kept hopping on a bus going in the opposite direction from your office.

In the same way, why don’t we BEGIN to live our lives the way we want it to be at the end?

Its okay if there are set backs en-route but at least you would still be on track… There is never a right/perfect time… the journey of a thousand steps begins not with the first step but in facing the right direction... and then taking the first step.

My dear friend was taken away by a deadly disease but every day we live is one day closer to the day we die…

So live now ( as you ought)  because there is no other time to do so…

– Funmi

Life, Change and Purpose…

It has been exactly 4.5 years since I last blogged. I remember visiting my site a number of times every year, trying to work up the ‘zeal’ to resume blogging but always deterred by a number of self-made objections. I think the biggest reason that trumped all the others was how there was just ‘too much’ to say about my time of hibernation. By the end of the second year I completely gave up because I convinced myself  I had outgrown that phase.

Why am I back? Well in the last half a decade, I have experienced so many things for the first time; Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur, Mother of two and career change. In fact, I almost feel like a totally different person. While it is true these things have completely and utterly consumed my life, the passing on to Glory of someone whose service and dedication always amazed  me got me thinking again…

What on earth am I here for? ..

Many of us are in the process of discovering this. Some think they have figured out what it is but then get overwhelmed by life and the change it brings, oftentimes leading to a phase where they forget that special (or not) calling/gift they think they have.

purpose-of-life

Is writing my calling? Well, I don’t know but I do know that I have always found purpose and encouragement in sharing Gods lessons in my experiences with other people. Life is change, change is constant but does constantly changing  mean we forget to take regular pauses to ask the all important question…

what am I here for?

The absence of that question is the ever so subtle introduction of the kind of change that is often self-absorbed and inwardly focused ( your dreams, desires and aspirations only ) without an external link to the outside world.

So while I ponder on Life, the changes it has brought my way and Gods purpose for my life in the midst of all that change, I am glad that I have found myself coming back full cycle  to writing again ( hopefully something in here will bless you!)

So Here I am… staring at change in the face and yelling I am back!!!

– Fumosh

Take a pause… feel His pulse

JEMIMA:Patterns for living a full life

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You are invited to embark on the journey of grace and discovery as Jemima takes root in the heart’s and mind’s of God’s people. We are entering exciting times as we position ourselves to be receptive vessels for all that our creator has in store for us!

To ensure that each of you has the opportunity to experience a contemporary look at an age-old question of ‘How can I encounter God’s miracle-working power in my every day life?’, order your copy of Jemima today!

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches how beautiful will it be to share with your loved one’s stories of strength and encouragement that will last longer than flowers. This investment in their destinies will inspire them to encounter the seed of change as they learn to experience God’s grace? Order a copy for your special someone today!

Search for – JEMIMA: Patterns for living a full life (Funmi Onamusi)
Orders in Nigeria – http://www.booksng.com
Orders in UK/US – http://www.amazon.co.uk (but buy it from Graceville publishing as Amazon do not have it in stock.
Bulk purchases of more than 10 orders – gracevillepublishing@yahoo.com

Please make sure you join the invitation to join the Jemima launch/movement event on Facebook as we have  released a story abstract on Monday, 2nd February 2009.

I am encouraging people to post their thoughts, victories and generally share their Jemima-xperience with fellow members. Also, pass on the Jemima-xperience and invite your friends to join up!!!!!!

Plant the Seed of Change in 2009 and experience the fullness of God in your everyday life by purchasing your copy of Jemima today!!!!

Be blessed

Funmi

Gods Grace day by day

A number of my friends have accused me for not updating my blog regularly – especially after my last post addressed something of that nature. What i then explained to them was that i was not just writing (which i love doing), i was doing it on a bigger scale.

Over the last three months i have been working almost full time to finish up on my book. It had been on my mind for over a year but after i wrote the last post, i decided to take a cue from my own lesson and then plunge into it full time.

One of the greatest things that can happen to any individual is the ability to stick with the right habits. Tell me your habits and I will predict your future!  So in order to make my dream of completing the book project, i made writing a habit instead of a hobby. I pushed myself hard and i must say i had no idea i had so much to say.

When operating under my own time frame, i would write about one story in a month or two. But in less than two months i have written about 15 stories!

I realised that in our walk in life we are confronted daily with challenges..many people try to deal with their issues how they know best, but how can we fare well when we ignore the potential to make ourselves better? I had many issues around writing more frequently but the moment i decided to apply discipline and make myself accountable to others for writing, it was like a dam broke and the words kept flowing. 

As the dream grew bigger i decided to enlist the help of trusted people who supported my  love for writing. I finally got about 12 stories that were contributed by friends. They were amazing stories and i enjoyed reading every one of them thoroughly. I didn’t even know some of them were such great writers and i would never have known if i had not spoken up that i needed help.

 The book i am working on is a compilation of short and interesting real life stories that have been written to stimulate and encourage people to take an active part in ensuring they live a more fulfilling life through some simple lessons on how to tap into God’s Grace on a daily basis. 

 It also revealed another lesson to me; When you have a dream and you have started to work towards it, reality is that sometimes the journey may  suddenly look endless and the results may look bleak – that is usually the best time to seek the support and help of trusted friends who share the same passions as you. You will be amazed as to how a simple action from them can get you bouncing back and rearing to go!

I tried it and it worked and i am now so happy that i can cross that off my list before stepping gallantly into the new year.

The greatest lesson i learnt from it all is how the Grace of God abounds daily unto great things. I decided to take my mind off the overwhelming vision (which was that i needed to write sooo many stories to compile into a book) and focus on getting past each day.

Every day i would believe in Gods grace to give me a personal experience during the day so that i could write a story about it. It worked greatly. Because it was trust on a day to day basis, i was more at ease and it made me more sensitive to my surroundings and to the lessons i could learn from things around me…and for me, a lesson meant a story.

I titled this post Gods grace day by day because that is what has kept me going since the last time i blogged here. Which is why i gave the book the same title… in Hebrew. So watch out for a book titled JEMIMA!

Merry Christmas and have a new year filled with JEMIMA!!!